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Trends: Alternative Fries

The light, crispy French fry is one of the world’s most beloved side dishes, but with low nutritional value and high fat content, many chefs are transforming this favorite  to meet the demands of health-minded diners.
  • Tubers such as beets, carrots, celery root, parsnips, and yucca can add a pop of color or bolder flavors and reduce fat if baked.
  • Substitute protein-rich garbanzo puree or polenta for potatoes to create crunchy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside strips that can be paired with a variety of global sauces such as cucumber and dill tzatziki, mango chutney, marsala ketchup, and garlicky aioli.
  • Lightly fry green beans, asparagus, Portobello mushrooms, and avocados dipped in parmesan batter to reduce the “bad carbs” and increase vitamins and minerals.

Diners are increasingly hyper-focused on high-protein and plant-based foods. Alongside all of the new-fangled, lab-based, cell-cultured options out there is the humble bean. A staple food for millenia, beans are being re-examined as a healthy, versatile ingredient worthy of menu inclusion.

  • Retro and heirloom recipes—like Southern succotash, French cassoulet, and Cajun red beans and rice—fit the bill for those in search of authenticity.
  • Most world cuisines incorporate some type of bean in their classic dishes. Think feijoada in Brazil, black beans and rice with plantains in Puerto Rico, and garbanzo beans in Israel. Modern interpretations of these recipes are packed with produce and herbs.
  • The creamy texture of mung beans is proving an ideal substitute for those that are eliminating soy from their diets.